Update: Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Sen. Mary Landrieu and prominent monument removal supporter attorney John Cummings all have ties to US District Judge Carl Barbier. See the Hayride exclusive here.
Update: Mayor Mitch Landrieu says he is “pleased” with the ruling and does not give a time frame of exactly when the monuments will be removed, according to the Advocate’s Jeff Adelson. Landrieu went on to say that the monuments would be stored in a city-owned facility until a permanent place, most-likely a privately-owned park, was chosen for their relocation.
Four of New Orleans’ historical monuments will officially be removed after US District Judge Carl Barbier denied to issue an injunction that would have entirely prevented Mayor Mitch Landrieu from taking the monuments down.
Following the New Orleans City Council vote, in which only one City Councilmember voted against removal, the city was hit with a federal lawsuit by preservationist groups.
The Monumental Task Committee (MTC), Louisiana Landmarks Society, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and Beauregard Camp No. 130 all argued that since the MTC has kept up the monument spaces for decades now, with no charge to taxpayers, they should have a say in the monuments’ fate.
At the time, Barbier was clear that he was not buying the argument.
Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, PGT Beauregard and the Liberty Place monument have all been the subject of a debate that started with Landrieu demanding the monuments be removed.
Over the course of 2015, Landrieu worked closely and behind closed doors with an anonymous donor, H&O Investments and members of the City Council to insure that the monuments would come down no matter what the outcome could have been.
So what will happen with the monuments?
At the court hearings for the case weeks ago, a New Orleans City Attorney confirmed that Landrieu has been working with Whitney Plantation owner John Cummings on possibly building a Civil War Park and putting the monuments there.
The Hayride reported back in December how Cummings could actually benefit from the monuments being removed from the public square in the city, as they will be passed along to him.
And as it turns out, the attorney and Democratic-funder will benefit, as the city has confirmed that they are in talks to help Cummings create this Civil War Park where the monuments are expected to end up after removal.
The news came just as the Hayride exclusively reported how a number of monument removal supporters have been appointed to cushy committee seats for the city’s Tricentennial Commission.
Walter Isaacson, Wynton Marsalis, Flozell Daniels and Carol Bebelle have all be vocal about their support for removing monuments in the city and have all been appointed to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.